Tissue engineering in the treatment of cartilage lesions
Background: Articular cartilage lesions with the inherent limited healing potential are difficult to treat and thus remain a challenging problem for orthopaedic surgeons. Regenerative treatment techniques, such as autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI), are promising as a treatment option to restore hyaline-like cartilage tissue in damaged articular surfaces, as opposed to the traditional reparative procedures (e.g. bone marrow stimulation – microfracture), which promote a fibrocartilage formation with lower tissue biomechanical properties and poorer clinical results. ACI technique has undergone several advances and is constantly improving. The new concept of cartilage tissue preservation uses tissue-engineering technologies, combining new biomaterials as a scaffold, application of growth factors, use of stem cells, and mechanical stimulation. The recent development of new generations of ACI uses a cartilage-like tissue in a 3-dimensional culture system that is based on the use of biodegradable material which serves as a temporary scaffold for the in vitro growth and subsequent implantation into the cartilage defect. For clinical practice, single stage procedures appear attractive to reduce cost and patient morbidity. Finally, modern concept of tissue engineering facilitates hyaline-like cartilage formation and a permanent treatment of cartilage lesions.Conclusion: The review focuses on innovations in the treatment of cartilage lesions and covers modern concepts of tissue engineering with the use of biomaterials, growth factors, stem cells and bioreactors, and presents options for clinical use.
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